May 14, 2008

Random testing of horses on more than 1000 properties in Queensland has found no evidence of any equine influenza.

No new infections have been detected since Christmas last year and Queensland was declared free of the disease in March.

Queensland Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Ron Glanville said the next milestone for the eradication campaign was "Proof of Freedom" to satisfy international requirements and the needs of trading partners.

"The longer we go without any new cases the more confident we are that we have achieved eradication of this disease," he said.

However, he urged horse owners to be vigilant and report any suspected cases to the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries.

"But to ensure that we build a compelling case for freedom we need the community's continued cooperation," he said.

"There has been a lot of surveillance work completed to confirm that we no longer have the disease, which has included random testing of horses on over 1000 properties through South East Queensland.

"However this does not mean that the battle is over. We need to continue to monitor the Queensland horse population and investigate any reports of horses suspected of having horse flu.

"I urge everyone to maintain good biosecurity on their properties and report any suspect cases."